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Sean Obi transferring to Maryland basketball: Terps land Duke big man

The Terps land a Duke grad transfer for the second time in three years.

NCAA Basketball: ACC conference tournament-Duke vs Notre Dame Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Obi visited Maryland on Monday, and it didn’t take long for him to come to a conclusion about where he wants to spend his final year of college basketball. He’ll come over from Duke to spend his senior season with the Terps.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman was first to report his decision, which the team has confirmed.

Since he’s coming over as a graduate transfer, he won’t have to sit out a season and can play immediately.

This comes after reports Wednesday night that Obi was deciding between Maryland, Georgetown and Georgia Tech, and would have an announcement soon.

The Duke junior didn’t play during the 2016-17 season after undergoing knee surgery last summer. Obi’s career with the Blue Devils was full of injuries. He only played 10 games in his first season with Duke, in 2014-15, and averaged 0.5 points and 1.0 rebounds per game. Obi Started his college career at Rice, and was named to Conference USA’s All-Freshman team back in 2013-14. He transferred to Duke after his freshman year, and sat out one season, per NCAA transfer rules.

Obi, who’s originally from Kaduna, Nigeria, announced his intention to transfer back on March 28, and didn’t name a list of suitors.

He’s the second Duke player to grad transfer to Maryland in recent years. Rasheed Suliamon came to College Park as a member of the 2015-16 team.

Maryland needs frontcourt depth. What can Obi provide?

Without Damonte Dodd and L.G. Gill, Maryland needs a heck of a lot of help at center and power forward. Michal Cekovsky and Justin Jackson figure to start there, but the Terps have a lack of experience down low. Ivan Bender played 14 minutes per game at center last season, but has limited athleticism. Cekovsky was injured for most of 2016-17, but figures to be the starting center if he’s healthy. Incoming four-star recruit Bruno Fernando could also factor in at either position, but predicting how freshmen big men will fare is tough.

Obi, who measures at 6’9 and 255 pounds, will have every chance to contribute down low. He’s largely an unknown quantity right now, but Maryland will need him to be effective, ideally as one of its first men off the bench. His lack of playing time at Duke makes it hard to predict whether or not he’ll be able to do that.